Brighton-based band The Curst Sons brought their distinctive verions of American traditional music to the Jenny Lind in Hastings on Saturday November 4, performing mainly original material with a few arrangements of traditional songs. They have released six albums on their own Curst Mountain label, the latest being The Jumping Flea.
The audience was jumping, too, as their dancing became ever wilder depending on the songs. Willi Kerr, the main vocalist, had a percussive style which gave the music a unique quality.
He was playing a staff called a mighty rhythm pole, a more sophisticated version of a Mendoza or Lagerphone or Monkey Stick (a traditional English percussion instrument used in folk music). It was quite mesmerising.
Willi, from Essex, decided in 1998 it was time, because of illness, to relaunch his musical career and The Curst Sons were born. It did his health a world of good.
Dave Simner (banjo, lead guitar and vocals) who was brought up on diet of heavy metal and motorbikes, made his way to the coast and got involved in the Brighton music scene. He also has his own 60s R&B band, The Spectones, as well as leading music sessions for adults with learning difficulties. Tim Dunkerley (slide guitar, mandolin and vocals) is teacher/facilitator with Unified Rhythm, a samba/fusion marching band for young adults with learning difficulties.
All in all, they were interesting personalities with incredible musical talent, humour, passion and an ability to get everybody rocking, well worth checking out.
Photos: Heidi Foster and courtesy Curst Sons